New Essays on The Red Badge of Courage Lee Clark Mitchell
First published in 1895, The Red Badge of Courage found immediate success and brought its author immediate fame. In his introduction to this volume, Lee Clark Mitchell discusses how Crane broke with the conventions of both fiction and journalism to create a uniquely 'disruptive' prose style. The five essays that follow each explore different aspects of the novel. One studies the problem of establishing the authentic text; another examines it as a war novel; a third considers it as a critique of the rising mood of militant imperialism in the 1890s; a fourth focuses on the double perspective of the novel - its shift between the hero's perspective and a larger, 'cosmic' one; and the final essay examines the novel's deconstruction of courage/cowardice. Written in a highly accessible style, these essays represent the best of recent scholarship and provide students with a useful introduction to this major novel.